Nonprofit Board Fellows

The Nonprofit Board Fellowship matches Wharton MBA and Penn Law JD students with Philadelphia’s nonprofit organizations.

The NBF provides a unique opportunity for Philadelphia-area nonprofit boards to connect with the University of Pennsylvania, and for students enrolled in select graduate programs at Penn to get involved in the Philadelphia community.

The program matches pairs of fellows to the boards of nonprofits in the greater Philadelphia area for nine months where they serve in the role of visiting board members.

Students with either prior or no prior nonprofit board experience can apply to become a Nonprofit Board Fellow.  Nonprofit Board Fellows gain valuable board experience while supporting the mission of a partner organization. Fellows simultaneously participate in on-campus trainings and meetings aimed at supporting their development in the visiting board member role.


Our mission is to advance the development of MBA and JD students who want — and have the potential — to be future civic leaders.


Through a competitive application process, we select students who best exemplify dedication to service, passion for mission, humility, interest in peer-led learning, and commitment to personal leadership development.


  • Placement: we place over 40 fellows to serve as visiting, non-voting board members on nonprofit boards in Philadelphia for a period of 9-months;
  • Training: board fellows engage with a 14-month nonprofit board service training curriculum focused on the nonprofit sector, board governance, and leadership development;
  • Shared learning: as a community of like-minded individuals, the fellows participate in frequent and ongoing opportunities to reflect on their experience and share learning.



Late November – December: Application open
January – February: Interviews
February: Selection decisions announced
March-May: Spring “retreat” + 4 Evening Trainings + Team Project Presentations + City Tour


August: Fellow board placement
Fall & Spring (ongoing): Board + Subcommittee Meetings, Pod Meetings, Evening Sessions, Peer Coaching, Partner Board Banquet

The 2023 NBF application is OPEN, apply today at this link! The application will close on December 12th, 2023.

Please note that MBA students may only apply in their 1st year.

Staff Contacts

Garlen Capita
Associate Director, NBF Program
Ciara Clarkin
Program Coordinator, NBF Program

Get Involved

Nonprofit Board Fellowships
Partnering organizations

Serve A Mission

Interested in learning what board service is all about?

MBA and JD students with and without board experience can apply to become a board fellow.

To learn more, click the button below.

Become A Partner

Sound like a good fit for your board?

Nonprofit organizations interested in hosting a board fellow can apply online.

To learn more, click the button below.